Go to the content

Laser spectroscopy of radioisotopes for fundamental and applied research (ref. BAP-2023-540)

The KU Leuven Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics (IKS) specializes in the production and use of radioactive ion beams for the study of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions, as well as the use of radioisotopes and radiation as probes for the study of fundamental symmetries at the low-energy particle level. The Interdisciplinary Research Group of Prof Thomas Cocolios is expanding this research into new domains, including the production of novel medical radioisotopes with the isotope separation online (ISOL) technique. Research is performed at the CERN ISOLDE and MEDICIS facilities, as well as at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK CEN located in Mol. The research outputs are part of larger collaborations including radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, and research hospital partners locally (UZ Leuven, UZ Brussel, UZ Ghent) and at the European and international levels (PRISMAP, LISA ITN). The Interdisciplinary Research Group also features a fundamental research programme into the shape of radioisotopes by means of resonance ionization spectroscopy in the ion-source (PI-LIST) and in collinear geometry (CRIS), as well as with muonic x-ray spectroscopy at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Villigen, CH). The group is also involved in decay spectroscopy studies as input for nuclear data for medical applications, as identification and counting for laser spectroscopy, or in the search of exotic decay modes like beta-delayed fission.


Within the IKS Interdisciplinary Research Group, you will carry out research in the production, purification and study of radioactive isotopes using laser resonance ionization techniques. You will establish a new laser infrastructure at IKS to expand the existing laser laboratory to include solid state tuenable lasers and apply them to the study of lanthanides. You will join the ERC NSHAPE project to investigate the shape of proton-emitting nuclei by combining laser spectroscopy experiments at CERN ISOLDE with the hot cavitiy (PI-LIST) and at GANIL S3 with the gas catcher (IGLIS). You will be part of the dynamic international collaborations involved at those two facilities and be given the opportunity to take leadership on your programme. As part of the ERC NSHAPE project, you will also have the opportunity to supervise PhD and Master students involved in the research, to report on your own findings internally and to the scientific community. You will also have the opportunity to further your professional growth in a dynamic team.


You are interested in joining an international team of researchers at the cutting edge of science and technology? You have a critical mind and you hold a PhD degree in laser, atomic, nuclear physics or equivalent? Then join us: We are looking for a self-motivated post-doc researcher with a background in laser physics or engineering, atomic physics, nuclear physics, or equivalent, and with a keen interest in radioactive ion beams.

  • Experience with laser infrastructures is necessary;
  • Experience with solid-state lasers is a bonus;
  • Experience with radioactive ion beams is interesting but not required.


We offer a 12-month post-doc position (renewable up to 3 years/6th anniversary since PhD) to be carried out Leuven. You will be given the opportunity to carry out your research independently but with the support of a large team, have coordination responsibilities within a large international network, and disseminate your research through participation in international events and scientific publications.The position will remain open until filled or until the deadline.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Thomas Elias Cocolios, tel.: +32 16 32 31 16, mail: thomas.cocolios@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than November 30, 2023 via the online application tool.

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Apply before: 01/12/2023

How can we help?

The Leuven MindGate team is at your disposal for any questions about the Leuven Innovation Region. Do you want to invest, work or study in the region? We can help you find your way.

We also facilitate collaboration and innovation between companies, knowledge institutes and government within the Leuven Innovation Region, and we are happy to guide any of these stakeholders towards innovation.